Three years ago, native Pennsylvanian J.M. Kelley packed her bags and moved south. Now, the wannabe Carolina Girl can’t speak a single sentence without adding the word y’all at the end of it, and regards a blast of snow flurries as a doomsday-level event. When the day job allows, and when she can pull herself away from George Takei’s Facebook fanpage, she likes to go on writing jaunts to her favorite lake, or a local coffee shop with delicious shakes and questionable Wi-Fi connections.
J.M. Kelley is a proud recipient of a Carrie McCray Memorial Literary award, and is a member of The South Carolina Writers Workshop and Romance Writers of America (PAN). Readers interested in more information may visit her website at www.jmkelleywrites.com.
Here's the Blurb for her latest release:
DADDY'S GIRL By J.M. Kelley
Sometimes, returning home isn’t about confronting your past; it’s about discovering your future.
Janie McGee, the black sheep of her family, is free-spirited, uninhibited, and never one to stay in the same place for too long. When Janie learns her father, Joe, is gravely ill, she reluctantly returns home to rural Pennsylvania to care for him. Joe’s neighbor, David Harris, sports a pocket protector, collects coins, and is addicted to Antiques Roadshow. Everything about him rubs Janie the wrong way, from his nerdy wardrobe to his enviable friendship with Joe. And to make matters worse, her father thinks they’re perfect for each other, proof positive of how little Joe knows his own daughter…or so Janie thinks.
A shared devotion to the elder McGee begins to close the gulf between Janie and David, but a burgeoning romance opens the door to new problems and unexpected consequences neither could foresee. Joe, however, remains steadfast in his resolve to show Janie that Daddy knows what’s best for his little girl. Can Janie finally open her heart to David while watching the first man she ever truly loved fade away?
Before treating us to an excerpt, J.M. Reveals:
In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s character. What do you like best/least about him?David Harris is a bit of a Boy Scout. He’s a noble guy who will drop his own groceries to help an elderly lady cross the street. He’s a little on the geeky side, and not the smoothest man in town. He loves Antiques Roadshow, and part of me suspects that he might actually know how to crochet. I honestly can’t think of anything significant I dislike about him, though for the sake of argument, I suppose you can say he can be a little exhausting for our heroine, Janie. As he grew as a character, I found myself falling in love with the man’s sense of loyalty and friendship. He has a pure heart, and will do just about anything for the people he holds dear.
And the heroine? How do you relate to her?I certainly can relate to Janie. She’s been emotionally adrift, and has meandered through life, searching for something she can’t always define. Love, peace, fulfilment…I get that. I understand life in the emotional wilds. Even though Janie, like most of us, wants to love and be loved, she’s afraid of the need to open heart to someone else. She has her reasons for that, however, and I can sympathize with her hesitance.
Who controls the story – you or your characters?There’s often a battle for control. Most of the time, I have a strong chokehold on the characters, but every once in a while they get a little antsy and start taking over. Unfortunately, I have to listen to them when that happens, because they usually want to go in a pretty awesome direction. I take back the reins as soon as possible, though.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?I hope readers recognize the emotional connection I developed with Janie, David, Joe, and Colleen, and walk away feeling as though they visited family. That’s how I view these people, and I hope it translates.
What do you most enjoy about writing romance/your genre?I enjoy focusing on the character and what’s going on in his or her head. I love to, as I write, delve into the motivation of the hero/heroine, and find out what truly drives them. When it comes to romance, I’ve always maintained that love is a chronically fascinating goal to write around. What will a person do for love? What will he forsake to win a woman’s heart? What will she sacrifice to be with him? What will they gain by coming together and getting their happily-ever-after? The possibilities are endless and exciting.
Anything special you require to keep the creative juices flowing?Lulu. I require Lulu, my beta extraordinaire, to crack the whip or get the ideas flowing. See, I have the attention-span of a gnat, and without her, I’d be lost up in the Smoky Mountains, wandering through the forest, instead of focusing on my writing. I fear the day she realizes people probably get paid to do all she does for me.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?Stop stalling, stop complaining, stop getting distracted, and just write. I struggle with taking that advice, but it’s still the wisest course of action.
What can we look forward to from you in the near future?This month, I will be releasing my first paranormal romance, Almost Magic. It was challenging and fun to construct a story that carries a light magical touch, and these might be some of my favourite characters to write to date. I will also be working on a contemporary romance entitled She Let Herself Go, which will be available in early 2014.
How do you like to spend your free time?My favourite lazy-time activity is hanging out a nearby lake and relaxing for a couple hours. If I can’t do that, I will plug in my headphones and listen to some tunes, read, or watch an episode of Buffy. Not the most glamorous life, but it’ll do.
What would you most like to accomplish this year?Win the lottery? Quit the day-job and become a full-time author? Buy a beach house and live life in a hammock? A little wishful thinking never hurt anybody, I suppose. Realistically, I just want to keep on writing, pressing forward with my current projects, and being able to flesh out some fun ideas I’d like to work on next.
What is your culinary speciality?Lasagna. I make pretty darn good lasagna, when I’m not dropping an entire pan of it on the kitchen floor. Yes, I have issues with balance.
Any exciting plans for the near future?I am really looking forward to attending the RWA National Conference in Atlanta this summer. It’s my first time attending, I am a PAN member, and it’s near home, so I can drive down for the event. I can’t wait to make some new connections and see what’s happening in the industry.
And now A Taste of J.M.
“Don’t think I won’t hurt you!” Janie shrieked, holding her ground.
“Joe might need that the next time he buys a pair of shoes,” the man said. His eyebrows arched theatrically while he gave Janie an appraising once over. His eyes lingered on her chest, she noted, which bolstered her resolve to kill him if he made any sudden moves.
Great. Janie tightened her grip on the shoe stretcher. Pervert.
The man stayed where he was and plastered an expression on his face that Janie assumed conveyed harmlessness. “You shouldn’t bean me with that. I doubt they make those anymore. It would be a shame to break it.”
Janie held the stretcher up higher, wincing as it wobbled flaccidly over her head. “If you knew my father, you’d know he only buys shoes once a decade. Who are you, damn it?”
“David Harris.” He slowly lowered his hands and took a step back. “I live next door. For the record, your father bought a pair of shoes last month. Are you Janie?”
Janie narrowed her eyes. “You’re David.”
A bemused smile curved his lips. “Were you expecting someone else?”
Almost certain she wasn’t about to be attacked, Janie dropped the stretcher to the bed. “I figured you’d be an octogenarian like my dad.”
“Your father is in his seventies.”
“That would make him a septuagenarian.”
Janie blinked. “Oh,” she said. “Well, I rounded up. Sue me. What are you, anyway, the vocabulary police?”
|click here to follow the rest of J.M.'s tour|
BUY Links: Turquoise MorningPress Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Smashwords AllRomance Omnilit